Elon University is known for offering a number of unique programs and events to both current and prospective students. This coming weekend in March is no exception, hosting one of Elon’s most extensive programs.
March 8 and 9 will mark this year’s Fellows Weekend — an all-hands-on-deck event for both faculty and students.
Fellows Weekend is an event for prospective students who have applied to specific Fellows programs to come and complete the second half of their application. The final application steps include an interview, different open houses and other specialized events.
Lynn Huber, director of the Honors program, said they’re expecting more than 200 students to be interviewed for a spot in the 2023 Honors Fellows cohort.
To be invited to Fellows Weekend, students must first be accepted to Elon and then have their application reviewed by the Fellows program they applied for. If they pass both of these steps, they are sent an invitation to the weekend along with their acceptance
Students are evaluated by faculty and current Fellows to see which individuals will be the best fit for their competitive programs. Those who become Fellows are held to high academic and characteristic expectations while gaining unique opportunities and connections with their cohorts.
Huber described traits that the Honors program looks for in prospective students.
“So, a couple of the things that we’re looking for is intellectual curiosity, so someone who’ll just ask questions, even if it’s a topic or something that maybe is outside of their sort of strength,” Huber said. “We really want students who are well-rounded and who are willing to go beyond their comfort zone intellectually.”
Fellows Weekend is put together collaboratively by faculty and current Fellows students. Special events vary from each program, with Honors Fellows holding a panel to discuss their research and Leadership Fellows holding a survival activity to test group collaboration.
Interviews are held one-on-one for students from their respective Fellows interests, as well as a socialization time for the possible Fellows to not only meet each other, but to meet the current members behind the program.
From these events, students’ personalities are brought into full effect, allowing facilitators and observers to pick out those who will bring the most to the cohort and to Elon.
Senior Emily Golden, a Leadership Fellow, shared what made the program a fitting experience for herself. Golden was the previous academic years’ Leadership Fellows Student Director.
“Fellows is ... my absolute family here at Elon. So, socially they’re my friends, they’re my roommates. So that’s been a huge part of the program for me,” Golden said. “It was such a blessing to come into Elon having that cohort of friends immediately, who were there to not only help me grow personally … but also push me professionally to continue to develop in my leadership, to learn more about myself as a professional and as a student.”
The Fellows programs have a common academic thread, as well as a common social thread. The programs boast of a cohort family within, granting students a group of like-minded individuals to connect with from day one at Elon.
“Fellows Weekend is about opportunity, both for the Fellows and for Elon,” Huber said. “It’s an opportunity for students to become part of communities that are going to be integral to their time at the university, but it’s also an opportunity for us [Elon] to think about who we want to be and who we want to welcome into our community.”
Every cohort has been known to be special unto itself. Golden, as a senior, has attended three Fellows Weekends at Elon.
“Every cohort brings a new perspective and a new identity to the program, and it’s been absolutely phenomenal, especially as the student director, to get to work with each cohort and sort of see their identity and see what they’re passionate about and see what motivates them and what they care about,” Golden said.
As with each new class of students, the Fellows hold hope for the new cohorts. Golden shared her own hopes for the future cohort of 2023.
“I hope that they obviously grab the program by the horns,” Golden said. “And do everything they can to make their experiences as great as it can be.”